Dugout Mugs is proud to announce that the Eddie Guardado Foundation is our April Cheers To Charity recipient. The nonprofit foundation was established in 2008 when Guardado and his wife Lisa’s youngest child Ava was diagnosed with Autism.
The 17 year MLB veteran and 2-Time All-Star was blessed to provide the best doctors and best therapists for his daughter. He realized he had the opportunity to provide for families who couldn’t afford the same help. For Guardado, "it's building hope, one home at a time."
"We started the Eddie Guardado Foundation and it took off,” he said. “What we focus on is not a cure for Autism, but the fact that we need to help these families now. They need our help now, not ten years from now. They need it today so that’s what we do.”
Currently, 1 in every 54 children are born with Autism making it more common than Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, or Childhood Cancer. While there is no prevention or cure, there is a need for funding, as it is one of the least funded areas for medical research.
For Dugout Mugs President & Founder Randall Thompson and CEO Kris Dehnert, the opportunity to support the Eddie Guardado Foundation, especially with April being Autism Awareness Month, made perfect sense.
“Working with folks like the Eddie Guardado Foundation is exactly why we started the Cheers to Charity initiative here at Dugout Mugs," Dehnert noted. "As my business partner, Randall loves to say, 'It's the people in and around the game of baseball that make it special,' and this is a perfect example of that.”
In addition to a financial donation, a portion of all sales using DugoutMugs.com/EGF will go directly back to the foundation. It’s money that will go directly to these families and impact the lives of countless children who deal with Autism.
Research has indicated a child with autism will improve significantly and have the chance to enjoy a better life with early intervention such as intensive sensory as well as behavioral and speech therapy.
For Guardado and his wife Lisa, making those phone calls supporting families is the best part of his day. The Foundation raises funds for grants through special events like their Stars & Strikes Celebrity Bowling event, corporate partnerships, and individual donations like the Dugout Mugs Cheers To Charity initiative.
“It’s making a phone call to one of these parents that need a safety net for their kid so they can just go out and play and they don’t have to worry about them just taking off,” he said. "Maybe, it’s a bed or an iPad, or to be able to pay for doctor’s visits for a week. It’s just an unbelievable feeling when you pick up the phone and you’re on the other line and they can’t believe it and start crying.”
They aren’t the only ones in tears though.
“Guess who else starts crying,” he added. “I’m right there with them. I’ll tell you what, when I hang up the phone, you can call me any name you want, punch me in the face, but you aren’t going to ruin that day. It’s pretty special.”
At Dugout Mugs, we aim to celebrate and serve the heroes of the baseball community by creating one-of-a-kind gifts that bring people closer to the game they love. However, heroes don't necessarily mean the iconic players.
“Sometimes it means baseball moms, sometimes it means the coaches that go above and beyond, and sometimes it means the people that launch philanthropic initiatives like Eddie and his family,” Dehnert noted.”
To learn more about Autism, the Eddie Guardado Foundation and how you can get involved please visit http://www.eddieguardadofoundation.org/.
About Cheers To Charity:
Our #CheersToCharity initiative has helped numerous foundations and organizations in our baseball community including the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, Mariano Rivera Foundation, Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and many others.
If you know any heroes of the baseball world, let us know so we can continue to celebrate & serve them through our Cheers to Charity initiative!